Influencer Mapping: The New ‘It’ Strategy for Scaling D2C Brands

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Brands like Peloton, Thrive Market, Hims, Wander Beauty, Casper, Noise, and Mamaearth that are leveraging the direct-to-consumer or D2C model has developed an unwavering emotional connection with their customers through digital media as there are no middlemen between the two. To take this further up a notch, influencer marketing and mapping are gaining popularity among D2C brands trying to build their unique identity.

What is Influencer Mapping?

We have influencers all over social media — in fact, according to a Media Kix report, there are about 3.2 to 37.8 million influencers in the world. But the question is — how much of an ‘influence’ do they have on their audience? And influencer mapping helps you find just that while also discovering the right influencers that are worth collaborating with. Influencer mapping is an important tool to consider when planning a strong influencer marketing strategy to maximize your brand’s ROI. Influencer mapping makes the task easier by comparing influencers head-to-head and recruiting the perfect ones for your brand with so many prospects to choose from.

Importance of Influencer Mapping

With millions of influencers on social media, choosing who to work with and maintaining a fair relationship with all of them can become overwhelming. And of course, you need to have data to back it all up. Therefore, Influencer mapping has become important as it helps you to –

1. Find the Right Influencers

For a successful influencer marketing campaign, you should be able to reach your target audience through your influencers. So, find influencers based on their social network and audience using influencer mapping. Influencer mapping helps you search influencers based on their age, gender, location, interests, engagement rate, brand affinities, and content. It will assist you in finding the right influencers and contact them to join forces with your brand.

2. Test the Influence or Impact of the Influencers

Your goal for hiring influencers is to leverage their audience size and follower engagement profitably. Influencer mapping can help you narrow down to the top influencers for your influencer marketing campaign by comparing their level of impact on the target audience. At times, influencers may have a huge follower base, but they do not engage very actively. With influencer mapping, you can A/B test different campaigns using influencer groups and then analyze which one works the best for your brand needs.

3. Learn More About Your Potential Audience

Did you know that influencer mapping also allows you to gain deep insights into the influencers’ audiences? For ex., influencer A and influencer B both have around 50K followers on Instagram, but influencer A is a better pick because their audience is more relevant to your brand.

Also, while studying the influencers’ audiences, you are likely to discover hidden audiences that you’ve not targeted before. This opens new avenues to expand your reach, generate new leads, increase conversions, and drive more revenue.

Top 3 Reasons Why D2C Brands Go for Influencer Mapping

To compete on a global level with giant businesses, you need to have your influencer marketing strategy on point. Here’s how D2C brands can benefit from influencer mapping:

1. Better Brand Awareness

D2C brands may often start from zero, which means brand influencer marketing can be very beneficial to them at an early stage to create scalable brand awareness. Even with a low budget, D2C brands can leverage micro-influencers (those with less than 100,000 followers) who have better engagement rates and are cost-effective. Influencer mapping can find these targeted influencers and provide data insights for the team to continuously optimize their campaigns. Delhi-based all-natural beauty and personal care brand — Mamaearth is a case in point. They built a strong brand message using influencer marketing with value-added narratives in their content, post which the company grew its operating revenue by more than 6X in 2020 compared to 2019 in India.

2. Persuasive Product Reviews

Customers today are looking for an authentic brand experience, trustworthiness, and a meaningful approach. A Trustpilot report suggests that nearly nine out of ten consumers worldwide read online reviews before deciding to buy a product. Influencers are trusted for their authentic communication with their followers, hence a product review done by them can make or break the deal. More and more people are turning to YouTube and Instagram to gauge product reviews in detail, especially before making a high-value purchase. D2C brands can leverage this consumer behavior and repurpose this content as marketing collateral for other projects too.

3. Emotional Brand Messaging

Consider two types of brand communications — One with sponsored, hard-selling content focusing only on the product features and the second with a person talking about why they connect with the brand values.
And, also what they feel when they use the product.
Which one are you likely to resonate with? The second one!

D2C brands can strike the right chord by humanizing their campaigns. They can build on the power of influencers by giving life to their products using relevant emotions. This will help a customer visualize the product in a better way, thus impacting their purchase decision positively.

How Can D2C Brands Leverage Influencer Mapping?

Many D2C brands work with nano and micro-influencers rather than a couple of mega ones owing to their small marketing budget. Therefore, it becomes quite arduous to manage influencers campaigns, optimize the performance and track the results. Influencer mapping can ease this gigantic task by:

1. Organizing Every Interaction

With influencer mapping, you can forget about the hassle of tracking the last conversation you had with an influencer. Whether it is reaching out to the influencers, following up, tracking responses, or managing queries, influencer mapping platforms can record, organize and track every interaction with the influencers in one go.

2. Managing Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Influencer mapping allows end-to-end management of influencer marketing campaigns. Right from pre-campaign management to tracking the performance of every influencer, influencer mapping provides a complete solution. This way, D2C brands can focus more on strategizing and planning as the coordination part becomes automated through influencer mapping platforms.

3. Communicating Seamlessly

When D2C brands recruit multiple influencers, maintaining a seamless relationship with each one of them can be tedious. It is almost impossible to do it manually. Influencer mapping makes communicating with multiple influencers easy by automating the whole process through its built-in email sequences and templates.

4. Analyzing Influencers and Measuring Success

Influencer mapping can help you analyze influencers and compare them based on their campaign performance. You can run experiments with different influencer groups and use the data analysis to evaluate every influencer’s reach, impact, and conversions. This will help you discover the influencers that work the best for your marketing campaigns.

The marketing goal of a D2C business involves understanding consumer needs at a micro-level. This is due to the direct interaction involved. They rely on digital channels to interact with the consumers. To reach a wide set of audiences that can trust you, it becomes important to find and collaborate with the influencers who have a specific target audience that resonates with your brand. This plays a pivotal role in determining the D2C brands’ success in generating brand awareness, reaching out to new customers, and creating engaging content.

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